Children Drugged at Ohio Daycare

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Westerville Police say Tammy Eppley, who ran a daycare facility out of her house, regularly put drugs into the children’s food to make them fall asleep. Eppley reportedly laced cupcakes, pancakes and possibly drinks with melatonin and Benadryl to make the children drowsy. She then used her cell phone to take videos of “catatonic children on her couch.” Eppley is facing 6 counts of child endangerment. Luckily, none of the children required medical attention.

Dangerous Drugs

Aside from being morally repugnant, Eppley’s actions were potentially dangerous.  Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is a powerful antihistamine. According to the package insert, side effects may include drowsiness or excitability. If children are given too much of the drug, it “may cause hallucinations, convulsions, or death. Many people consider melatonin safe because it is a hormone that is produced by the brain. Linked to the body’s sleep cycle, it is available as a dietary supplement in tablet form. The Mayo Clinic reports that the side effects of taking melatonin supplements include sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, abdominal pain, anxiety, irritability, confusion, and depression. It may also affect the sexual development of children.

Eppley was not required to have a child-care license

Contrary to popular belief, not all daycares in Ohio are required to be licensed. Since Eppley was only caring for six children, including one of her own, her home fell into the “Type B” category of day care facilities. The Department of Job and Family Services lists the following requirements on its website:

Centers

  • 7 or more children of any age.
  • Centers must be licensed.

Type A Homes

  • 7-12 children (or 4-12 children if four children are under two years of age) cared for in the provider’s personal residence.
  • The provider’s own children under six years of age must be included in the total count.
  • Type A homes must be licensed.

Type B homes  

  • 1-6 children cared for in the provider’s personal residence.
  • No more than three children may be under two years of age.
  • The provider’s own children under six years of age must be included in the total count.
  • Anyone can operate a Type B Home without a license. However, care for more than 6 children requires a license. (Type B homes must be certified by the county department of Job and Family Services if the child care is paid for with public funds.)

When you entrust the care of your child to a daycare provider, you do so with the belief that your child will receive the best care possible and be properly monitored throughout the day. If your child has been injured due the negligence of a daycare center or home daycare provider, Elk & Elk can help you obtain compensation and get your child the medical assistance he or she needs in order to recover.
Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

Day-care operator charged with drugging kids” By Theodore Decker, The Columbus Dispatch, June 18, 2013.

Child Care In Ohio –Types of Regulated Care in Ohio,” Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

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